According to a new survey, millions of teenagers in the USA are not getting enough sleep. Concern is growing at the number who are falling asleep in the classroom, driving while not fully alert and doing their homework in a state of semi-wakefulness.

According to the survey, carried out by the National Sleep Foundation, only one fifth of American teenagers are regularly getting a good night’s sleep.

Christopher Drake, of the American Sleep Foundation, said ?Only 20 percent of children are getting optimal sleep, and nearly half are getting insufficient sleep. This is affecting all areas of their life. Clearly, there can be an impact on all areas of functioning. Kids who are getting insufficient sleep are more likely to feel depressed, more likely to get poorer grades and be impaired while driving. This is a major, major serious area of concern.\”

Clocks go forward one hour in the USA on the first Sunday of April. The America Sleep Foundation is currently promoting National Sleep Awareness Week to coincide with the return of Daylight Saving Time.

The survey questioned 1,600 parents, carers and children.

Here are some of the findings:

— 28% of high school children fall asleep while at school once a week or more

— 14% of high school children arrive late for school at least once a week because they have problems getting up

— 22% of high school children fall asleep while doing their homework at least once each week

— Over half of all teenagers have been driving their car while feeling sleepy (over the last year)

— 15% of grades 10-12 children drive while feeling sleepy at least once each week

— 28% of all teenagers say they are too tired to do any type of physical exercise

— 90% of parents felt their children were getting plenty of sleep while 59% of children felt they were not

— A much higher percentage of children who got enough sleep achieved A and B grades at school than children who did not get enough sleep

— Sleep-deprived-children where much more likely to feel nervous and suffer from tension.

— 12 graders, on average, are sleeping two hours less than they should each night

— 10% of the children said they hardly ever get a good night’s sleep

— 75% of children said they consumed at least one drink with caffeine in it each day

— 31% of children said they consumed two or more drinks with caffeine in them each day

— The number of electronic items in a child’s bedroom seems to correlate with the amount of sleep he/she manages to get. Those with more electronic items seem to suffer more from lack of sleep

— Most children have to get up at 6.30 to get ready for school. Over half of senior high school children go to bed after 11.00pm

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today